Lawn Removal Inspiration to Combat California Drought


In case you missed the memo: shiny green lawns fed by sprinklers blasting water into the sky just don’t work anymore in these days of persistent drought.

As water supplies from reservoirs and wells continue to dwindle around California, we need to change What and How? ‘Or’ What we water.

Public parks might be good places for large swaths of grass in Southern California’s low-rainfall climate, but around our homes? It’s become a pipe dream this summer for many Angelenos whose outdoor water use has been reduced to a few minutes a week, not enough to keep a lawn alive, let alone green.

Water districts offer discounts for lawn removal, but many won’t give you money for installing artificial grass (which stops water from flowing into the ground, potentially killing trees and beneficial microorganisms in the soil) or a pile of stones and a couple of cacti. Instead, you should include drought-tolerant plants and an efficient way to water them, such as drip irrigation.

The Times spoke with LA County residents who pulled back their lawns and turned their yards into fragrant, verdant, low-water havens — often with a DIY approach.

Yes, it takes work, but these construction site converts rave about lower water bills, the fight against climate change, the pride they felt after completing an arduous task and finding serenity in the process. Let these stories of ripped lawns guide and inspire you as you reconsider your own landscaping plans.

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